[percy-l] New Orleans Before Katrina -- Walker Percy's "Moviegoer" and the Aesthetics of Adversity

janetcantor37 at yahoo.com janetcantor37 at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 26 14:29:37 EDT 2015

The Moviegoer is the only work of literature to my knowledge where the jacket copy begins on the cover with an assignment question reminiscent of the ones in high school English textbooks. “Why is the hero of this novel a moviegoer?”
This is a mischievous question on Percy's part because later in the book, there is a character whom Binx describes as also a moviegoer. Binx tells us that the guy never goes to the movies, though.Janet Cantor
  Dear Percy-L:
 For those interested in a close reading of images from The Moviegoer and reflections on Katrina as its 10th anniversary approaches this week, the following short essay is available, which includes a brief foray into Faulkner's writings on New Orleans.
 Best regards,
 Henry Mills
 Percy-L Administrator
 New Orleans Before Katrina -- Walker Percy's "Moviegoer" and the Aesthetics of Adversity
 Town Topics - Princeton's Weekly
 August 26, 2015 - Stuart Mitchner
 Ten years ago this week, August 29, Katrina savaged New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Just under two thousand people died, with damages estimated at over a hundred billion dollars. Spike Lee in When The Levees Broke, David Simon in HBO's Treme, and Dave Eggers in his book Zeitoun are among the artists who have done justice to the magnitude of the event and its troubled aftermath. You could say Walker Percy did justice to it before it happened.
 The Moviegoer, Percy's first and best-known novel, was published in 1961, four and a half decades before Katrina. Since New Orleans is geographically susceptible to devastating  acts of nature, the fact that Percy intuits the possibility of a Katrina  might seem a given, but what sets his book apart is its fortuitous all but prophetic awareness of something that did not take place until 15 years after his death. It's as if the book had been created in the shadow of imminent catastrophe by a philosopher/novelist exploring the aesthetics of adversity while posing questions such as why the same man who feels bad in a good environment is "apt to feel good in a very bad environment, say an old hotel on Key Largo during a hurricane." . . .
* Percy-L Discussion Archives: http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/

* Manage Your Membership: http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/percy-l

* Contact the Moderator: percy-l-owner (at) lists.ibiblio.org

* Visit The Walker Percy Project: http://www.ibiblio.org/wpercy

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/percy-l/attachments/20150826/42da0500/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Percy-L mailing list